Burning Desire to Share

2045 replies [Last post]
Anonymous
Before you stop altogether

Before you stop altogether why not talk to your sponsor first. I came here for help, whatever the direction it was taking me. I couldn't stop myself. FFT food for thought

Anonymous
sad

sad that you feel that way, we say we are not religious nor a cult then we act that way with all our "chanting" etc. (what moron thought that up). still does not change the fact that we are indeed a God program. Try it your way....again. Let us know how that works out for you, maybe you might find a better way. God Bless You. M

lunchbunch
Offline
Joined: 2013-01-08
God

Some say the basis of recovery is HOW - Honesty, Open Mindedness and Willingness. Thanks for your honesty.

Anonymous
Reasons not to leave AA

I am an atheist who has been sober and attending AA since 1993. When I hear so many people in AA (and on this forum) talk of God I just smile. I have learned to be tolerant in AA. Anyone who told me over the years that I must believe in a god to stay sober has long since dropped away from my life. They may or may not still be sober themselves. Also, drugs are part of my story, but I don't think I've ever been chastised for mentioning them. The vast majority of people who attend the meetings I go to are warm, welcoming, and tolerant.

I don't worry about our national membership numbers. I don't worry about what the newcomer in general does or does not hear in the meetings. I don't worry about people in general being turned off by the program because of the chanting,reading of the 5th step, or what have you. I can't do anything about abstract people or statistics. What I can do is go to meetings myself; engage in service; reach out and shake the hand of someone who is new and scared. If I don't like the format of the meeting I go to, I am free to attend another or start my own.

I primarily go to meetings because I love them, and because if I started drinking again I would face certain prison or death. I already did the institutions.

That was my burning desire to share after reading many of the posts here. The polemic on here gets boring, but it's typical of anonymous online forums. What I like is to read about people's struggles and triumphs. The triumphs and miracles in this program happen every day.

Tom

Anonymous
Reasons not to leave AA

Tom - I loved your share. Disputes, contentions, resentments, confusion, are usually not new stuff for the average alcoholic - certainly not for me. But being able to not drink and to grow in stability certainly are. I consider you - and the first sharer - my fellow, my valued brother, whether or not we share the same perspective on faith. I have a fellow feeling with agnostics and atheists, it is familiar ground for me. For now, I have an appreciation of a power greater than me, and a gratitude, but not a lot in the way of comprehension. All I wish for anyone is that they find their truth, and be sober (if they have this problem) and happy.
Raphael, Cadiz

Anonymous
Religious?

Before I begin a response, let's get a few definitions in order.  People seem to love to confuse religion and spirituality these days.  But the two are more opposite than similar in nature.

Religion has to do with institutions, dogma, books and teachings.  Religion has little, if any, tolerance of anyone having different views.  Religion has been the cause of most of the wars in this world, most of the suffering, most of the ignorance and small-mindedness and most of the killings of innocent human beings.  Religion is a plague that should be wiped from the face of the earth.  (Of course, I might be wrong, but I doubt it.)

Spirituality has to do with being concerned and questioning about things that are not so easily defined -- like the purpose of life, whether or not there is a higher power, our relationships with one another, etc.  Spirituality is, by definition, hard to define.  Everyone has their own interpretation.  Everyone has their own definition.  Everyone has their own path.

When AAs say (as the Big Book says) that we are not religious, therefore, they speak the truth.  No one is required to believe in anyone else's god, or lack thereof.  No one is required to be subservient to that supposed god's servants and leaders.  No one is required to do anything no one wishes to do.  Heaven and hell, if they even exist, are filled with people both in and out of AA, as it should be.

The genius of AA as it has evolved is that none of us care at all about your god, or your lack of god!  He/she/it can have any name.  It can look like anything you want it to look like, even the Flying Spaghett Monster, praised be his noodly appendages.  It can spout any doctrinal nonsense you want it to spout and you can believe all of that nonsense you want to believe.  But, at the end of the day, each of us who are truly alcoholic need something/someone that is NOT US to help us find a solution to our problem with alcohol, and with life.  It is as simple as that.

For the record, I am a buddhist.  I don't believe in a god in the traditional sense.  I don't NOT believe in a god in that sense either.  I just don't think it is relevant at all.  On my spiritual path, any god that might exist and might be worth its salt doesn't care in the slightest whether or not I, or any other puny human being, believes in it.  It is up to me, and me alone, to find my path, to work out my salvation, as it were.  It is up to me to seek guidance from the spirit of the universe when I need it.  Otherwise, that spirit of the universe has bigger fish to fry, I would imagine.

Having said that, I am highly spiritual.  I have a path that I walk daily.  I meditate often.  I sit quietly and listen for wisdom and guidance.  More often than not, that wisdom and guidance come to me and help me on my path.  I have found peace.  I have found repose in something that is definitely "not-me" but "still me."  I have, if you want to call it that, found god.

AA, and the Big Book, have never pretended to be anything other than a spiritual program.  You can't read the book, go to meetings, or study the steps without seeing spiritual principles everywhere you look.  You can't work the steps and miss the presence of someting/someone bigger than yourself, call it god or anything else you want to call it.

If anyone ever thought that they could work THIS PROGRAM without spirituality or their version of god, they were only fooling themselves.  Chiding and berating us because you tried to lie to and fool yourself is childish.  Just because something does not work for you does not mean you have the right or the privilege or running others' beliefs down.  It didn't work for you.  Learn from that and move on, with peace and maturity.

There are plenty of programs out there that do not require spirituality or belief in order to get one sober.  And, as the Big Book says, we in AA do not have a monopoly over recovery and sobriety.  Other paths work for other people.  That does not mean, however, that AA and the steps are any less valid for some of us.  It just means they don't work for everyone.  No one ever said they would.

If you don't like the spirituality of AA then we say good for you.  Please go elsewhere and find your sobriety and peace wherever you can, and leave us to finding ours where we do.  However, it is nothing short of childish, petty and dishonest to mischaracterize and lie about our program, a program that is working for many of us every day!

Of course we talk about god every day.  Of course we talk about spirituality.  They are both the basis, the part and parcel if you will, of the AA program.  From the tone of your terse posting, may I recommend Rational Recovery.  Not only do you need sobriety, I would guess since you came to AA, but you sound like you need rational thinking, freedom from the emotions that seem to rule you at every turn.  I wish you the best in your journey.

Chip A
Covington KY

Anonymous
re reason

so you do beleive?

Anonymous
Thyroid problems related to alcoholism?

Hello, I have been sober for 90 days. Several months ago, before I quit drinking, I had blood tests that indicated low thyroid function. I am wondering if my chronic drinking for 30 years could have damaged my thyroid -- and if so, is it reversible? Has anyone observed a correlation between alcoholism and thyroid issues? ( I do have another appointment with my doc to get retested but it is not for another 2 months ).
Thanks-- MO

Anonymous
re thyriod

A responsible doctor wouldn't try to begin answering your question. Anyone else doesn't know and should be ignored. So where does that leave you? The time is right now. We can't undrink the past nor hurry the future. The only thing you can do about your thyroid is keep your appointment and follow your other doctor's instructions. On the other hand there is a lot you can do about your alcoholism. A whole book-ful.

Welcome to the adventure.

Anonymous
God destroyed my life

God destroyed my life

Anonymous
Actually God didn't destroy

Actually God didn't destroy your life...you did. I did the same thing. God gave us free will to make our own decisions and most of us made a mess of things trying to do it our way. That doesn't mean God left us though, we left God. If you think you can do it on your own then have at it! See how that works for you again. More power to ya, but I know I "had to have God's help!" Good luck and God bless!!!

Anonymous
God destroyed my life

I had that problem too.
AA helped me with Step two and I found a different God. He fixed my destroyed life.

Anonymous
re God

Curious. How much alcohol did this God of yours pour down your neck?

Anonymous
hopelessness

Alcohol ruined my life

Anonymous
Stickin with it

Still going to my meetings. Last nite was steps 2-3-4. Was a good meeting and putting my all into it. 11 mile bike ride to and from for last nites meeting but the time to myself was really needed. Sometimes I have to put myself back in my place and was offered a ride home but declined to have time to reflect on what I heard in the past hour. Glad I did, it was a better trip home than it was going there thou I was already tired from biking there! Hope! ---Stan

lunchbunch
Offline
Joined: 2013-01-08
Hope

Keep it rolling Stan. I biked to meetings during early sobriety in Chicago and earned the name, Bicycle Bill. My 5 mile ride to and from became a time to breathe, relax and reflect - a time of peace. I knew that my anxieties and depression would ease during the meeting as I listened to other members share and began to open up about myself. During the journey home, I'd feel lifted up, filled with a sense of hope.

26 years later,I have a much different life in a totally different part of the country but I still ride to meetings - on a much nicer bike. I mentioned at a meeting last week that during early sobriety, in order to ease my anxiety & depression I would occasionally ride to a meeting that was 45 miles south of me and then ride back. That really took the edge off. A member asked yesterday if I still did that. I answered that I did not; that thanks the program, I was a bit older and much less anxious.

Keep rolling back.

BB

Anonymous
Membership Growth

In the FINAL REPORT for 2012 I see that we had 1,388,727 A.A. members at the end of 2012. That is
an increase of 4,020 compared to 2011. These are estimated numbers (US and Canada).
I heard a member last evening who stated that he had been in several institutions, jails, etc.
He said that every one of them told him to attend A.A. meetings.
With an estimated thirty million alcoholics in the US, is this the best we can do? I consider
these numbers to be shameful. Something is dreadfully wrong. Is anyone else concerned? I can't
be the only one left who remembers what Alcoholics Anonymous was like when we were growing
at a healthy rate. For 57 years our membership grew at the rate of doubling about every ten
years. At today's growth rate, it will take us three hundred and fifty years to double our membership
again. The solution is presented in this forum.
The solution which our current leadership will offer is just to stop counting. They have
already hidden prior numbers, which were available to the membership until last year. These
historical numbers are hidden in the vault with salaries of our paid trusted servants. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
millions

So estimates of membership are stuck at one or two million and this is terrible? With what other disease is success measured by the number of patients who stay in rehabilitation? AA meetings are running over with those seeking or maintaining remission rather than recovery. Meetings, year after year, ignoring responsibility to family, community and, in fact, themselves. More than once I have occasion to visit the home of a “Mr. AA” for some errand to find the only house on the block that hadn’t been painted in years or encountered the spouse, a widow to meetings instead of the bar.

I can anticipate the backlash to this alternate view of success, of recovery. You are not reading in this post that EVERYONE has the ability to recover in AA and discontinue meetings forever. I’m sure some can site numerous horror stories and anyone paying attention can site success stories. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to leave half-baked. If the promises listed after step nine aren’t a norm in your life, I wouldn’t be hopeful for you. Some need more than others. Some have more to give than others. Some like meetings more than others. Alcoholics are world champions at doing exactly what they want to do and hanging the label “The Best Thing to Do” on it. Many AA’s in retirement have plenty of spare time and love a captive audience for their stories. Does including their numbers in the head count prove that AA is any better, more successful?

I remember it in my own experience and I see it repeated today. As a newcomer, I could relate to those sober for a few months or a couple of years. If they could do it, perhaps I could too. I wanted what they had. Old timers with thirty or forty years? They might have well have been from a different planet. Of course I could relate to parts of their stories. Of course they were an essential asset providing service to keep things running and on track. I just don’t see that AA needs every single newcomer to become a lifer. Many non-alcoholics need every minute of the day to meet the responsibilities of family, health, career, and community and enjoy some time being happy, joyous and free. For those of us in recovery, are there more hours in the day or fewer demands on our time?

I spent a few years in AA getting my life together and moved on. I used the tools I was given and enjoyed a sober, productive life. I checked in from time to time. I know, and know of many more, that have done the same, with sucess. Now that I am retired, I have time to give something back. I enjoy it and there seems to be a place for me. AA just doesn’t need millions of old timers to avert failure or be any better.

Anonymous
Re_Membership Growth

I think AA is doing fine. Our message is strong. I think you did a hack job when you applied the scientific method. To arrive at those conclusions which I found erroneous, is just not good science. There are so many variables to why the numbers seem the way they do. To suggest AA is failing based on lower numbers is a fabrication in your mind. Think, Think, Think!

noduis
Offline
Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: Membership Growth

This is from the summer issue of "Box 459"
"Estimates of Groups and Members as of January 1, 2013 (1)

Groups Members
United States 59,321 1,295,656
Canada 5,093 93,071
Sub-Total 64,414 1,388,727
Correctional facilities (2) 1,499 36,838
Internationalists 3 15
Lone Members 0 67
Total 65,913 1,425,647
Outside U.S. & Canada (3) 48,726 705,902
Grand Total 114,642 2,131,549"

What you neglect to mention is:
"1. The General Service Office does not keep membership records. The information shown here is based on reports given by groups listed with G.S.O., and does not represent an actual count of those who consider themselves A.A. members."

At a recent local meeting a self described 'oldtimer' ranted about the declining membership in AA. He based his argument on the number of Big Books in circulation vs the number of members. Both of you might think seriously about finding something good to say about AA, rather than give newcomers the impression that AA is facing away.

Anonymous
Growth

If membership increase is what you are seeking why do you try to portray AA as a good place to stay away from? I haven't found it so. The membership runs the organization through it's frequently replaced representatives. If you or your ideas didn't find favor, get over it and try again next year. Maybe polish up your salesmanship in the mean time.

Anonymous
romantic relationship in AA

I was in an on again off again relationship with someone in the program. We last broke up on Christmas Eve and was I extemely distraut. Even though I have had a good sponsor (although she practically had to hold my hand through the entire relationship), home group, connections with other women, etc.. it took a toll on my program and well being. Everytime I got back in it I felt crazy and cycle starts all over again.It was unhealthy and we are both at fault for fear of intimacy but moslty me. However I can not seem to get over this person so I have chosen to avoid meetings, certain places, emails and texts, etc.. so I don't slip again. Most recently he showed up at one of my meetings and was extremely angry when I would not engage with him. His texts pointed out almost every character defect I have. I feel awful and am doubting my approach of avoiding him because I am not being thoughtful and kind. I'm trying to stick to safe meetings, joined district, practice meditation, had to get a second job to clean up the past and don't want to lose what I have. I struggle with female friendships and never share about the relationship with them or at meetings. Anyway I still feel alone alot of the time and wonder if the disease has got the best of me since I can not face the breakup. I feel like I will pay dearly for this.

Anonymous
hard relationship

Hello, I am in the same situation as you. I am an AA member and it is the most important thing. I tried a lot of tools to get out of the situation and the best for me were: get professionnal help outside AA fot that problem, protect my privacy as much as I could within AA and I tried Al-Anon groups. Hope this helps.

Anonymous
reply to romantic in AA

I completley understand what you are going through right now. In my early sobriety I got involved in a relationship with a man and it almost cost me my sobriety. I guess the only advice and hope that I can give to you is to share my strength hope and experience involving this situation. I learned that my sobriety comes first and that I have to do what is needed to maintain it. I had to see the man I was involved with and yes it was painful, uncomfortable and awkward,but, with prayers and support from the women around me I got through this difficult time. I had major trust issues with women when I came in but I simply learned that I needed them as I could not trust myself with men until I had more time under my belt. I didn't have alcohol to turn to anymore so my next choice was inappropriate relationships. The women I have in my life right now are very close friends ( there are only two)and I trust that what ever I share with them it stays with them and there is never any judgement. It took me a little while to figure out who I could trust, and who was going to be a true friend. Prior to AA I had no one I could trust. So those women are out there, just try to keep an open mind! I've learned that becasue I'm sober doesn't mean I have to be perfect. Infact some of the most valuable lessons I have learned are through bad choices and mistakes. I belive in you and know that you can push through this. You are worth it! ask for help from other women and your sponsor, step out of your comfort zone. I've found my biggest growth has come from facing my fears. My sponsor always said to me "if what you did has a name, then it's been done before so stop being hard on yourslf. It's progress not perfection." Hope this helps you :)

aw6195386
Offline
Joined: 2013-10-05
Romantic relationship -- not

Run away as fast as you can !!!!! He is a Narcissist Unless you cease all contact - changing your phone # and e-mail. you will continue to be driven crazy by his antics. There is nothing romantic about this.

Anonymous
Romantic

Most alcoholics can't distinguish between a relationship and a hostage situation. Sounds like you are both there.

Anonymous
relationship

Word count in your post:

"God" 0
"I" 19

“The main purpose (of our book) is to help you find a Higher Power that will solve your problem”. p45

Anonymous
romance

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Anonymous
OCT ISSUE, GRAPEVINE

in the story, FORGIVEN,Oct Issue, the author claims is given a four year prison sentence for being a passenger in an automobile accident which kills the driver. i find in hard to believe she gets a four year prison sentence for ridding drunk. I know it is impossible to back check all the facts in the manuscrips you are planning to publish but a measure of common sense should apply. I have been a long time sub. and do enjoy for the most part.

Jack

Anonymous
New to site not

Well it seem every couple of months I relapse. I hurt my wife with false promises. Not that I do it on purpose. Back in 2005 I went to AA directly from getting out of jail (DUI) and worked the program and got some good time sober. The meetings did work until I stopped going. I cannot take this anymore and makes me sick to know how bad I make her cry. I got a couple of days under my belt and she just can't take me hurting her feelings any more. I just hope I'm not to late this time. I will be going to a meeting today and get a sponsor. This is something i must do because I'm just not strong enough on my own will power. I want this to be the last relapse and will be doing whatever it takes cause not only do. I love her and dont want to hurt her anymore but in addition the disappoint in myself is unbearable. I know it gets better in time and never want to have to go thru this feeling EVER again. Thanks for letting me vent. ---Stan

Anonymous
Stan, I hope you have good AA

Stan,
I hope you have good AA where your are.

If all you have is "Go to meetings and don't drink in between" and "meeting makers make it" they are selling remission, not recovery. I followed (sometimes kicking and screaming) Alcoholics Anonymous' suggested program of recovery as written in the Big Book and 12 and 12 and have enjoyed not only sobriety for 33 years but living the promises as detailed after step nine.

"May you find Him now".

Anonymous
New to Site Not

Hi Stan: Good for you! It is never too late to be off this merry-go-round called alcoholism! I had been on it for over 40 years -- and the love of my life left because of it. It's too late for me to get him back -- but I applaud your willingness to keep trying.

I, too, keep coming to meetings and am now 319 days sober. I am so grateful to my God for this -- God is good -- life is good.

Take care,
Kathy

Anonymous
new to site not

I am starting over again and have 2 months sober. I am so glad you are taking the first step. I had 5 yr sober and went back out. I guess i had to really do this deal with both feet in. I didn't have a sponser last time...i do this time. Will pray for you...

Anonymous
You never know until you try...

I had 19 months after getting out of court ordered rehab. I went to meetings and had a sponsor and did some of the steps (some of them I was not willing to do). After I got off probation I stopped going to meetings and went back out for 7 years. I finally got tired of my life and begrudgingly went back to AA. I would go to meetings, sit there not hearing a word, and as soon as I got home pour myself a drink. I did this for 2 months before I finally reached out to someone I knew that had 11 years sober and asked "Why can't I get it this time?". She said to me "You're not hitting your knees and asking God to remove the obsession". I thought that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. I didn't believe in "God". How was I supposed to pray to something I didn't believe in? But I did it anyways. Every morning I got up and simply said (in my head not out loud... I wasn't ready for that) "Keep me sober". Never believing it would actually work. It did, so I decided I didn't need to do it anymore. I relapsed with 2 months sober. Since that happened I wake up every morning and still in my head ask MY god to keep me sober. Next month will mark the longest stretch of time sober in 20 years. Prayer... Sponsorship... Fellowship... Meetings... Steps... Vigilant studying of the Big Book... That's what keeps you sober (not in that order), but you can't pick and choose which ones you do.

lunchbunch
Offline
Joined: 2013-01-08
New To Site Not

Welcome back to AA Stan. It' great that you're going to meetings and getting some time sober. As we say, Keep Coming Back!

For me, I needed not only meetings but what was at meetings and what made meetings exist at all; recovery through the steps of AA. Early on, I bought a Big Book and 12 and 12 and tried working the steps on my own. At 3 months, I nearly relapsed at a wedding where I had an overpowering desire to drink. After the wedding, I asked a guy who always talked steps at the meeting I attended to help me with the steps. Since that day, I have not had a thought or idea to drink for over 25 years.

Remember that the reason that meetings exist at all is that some people in the program choose to give their time and effort to make sure we have a room, tables, chairs, coffee, cups snacks, literature, sobriety chips, a meeting format.....These are members who realize they keep their sobriety by giving it away to others through sharing and service.

christalc
Offline
Joined: 2013-09-11
Re: Stan & New to Site

Stan- Just wanted to say, "I hear you!". Keep coming back & come to online grapevine a lot..put in key words for how you're feeling each day & find inspirational stuff to read...that's what I do & go to meetings & different meetings and service. Sober 22 mths now. Thank God & Good Luck to you..1 minute at a time!

nelsie
Offline
Joined: 2012-10-04
Relapse

Hang in there Stan; I stopped drinking countless times. It's just that I couldn't keep from starting again; often every day. Sometimes I would last a week without a drink.
At the end of my drinking career, I asked "What's different this time." I found the answer to that question around the tables of AA. Those folks were surely better off than I and had something I wanted.

Gradually I gained enough self-esteem to want sobriety for myself. And as I made amends to my wife and family, I made amends to myself.

It gets better Stan; a lot better. Stick with AA and be good to yourself.
Nelsie

Anonymous
re:New

That's are M.O. We destroy everything in our path. If you take all the false promises we alcoholics make in our active drinking days or some in our recoveries it would stretch out to the dwarf planet Pluto. In AA we learn to change our choices which lead to favorite outcomes. It's easy to talk about what we will "do" especially after a drinking bender but, when you actually start executing the "do" through actions is where the true recovery begins and by that you will discover a true peace of mind and a life that's escaped you so far.

Anonymous
1st meeting (again) and sponsor gotten

I actually forgot how much I liked these meetings.Was a large group and took away some good info, always a positive. like my previous post stated, I never drank when going to meetings and a more positive outlook after some good time under my belt, I just CANNOT forget the fact that I cannot do this alone no matter how many times trying. Sticking with it cause I don't even know if I have a chance left this time with my wife but I'm tired of being sick and tired. After a couple weeks or months its the same old same old and getting worse with the blackouts. This will keep me grounded and help me not forget the past. ---Stan

Anonymous
Relapse

Stan, my heart goes out to you. I understand how hard it is to live with alcoholism and hurt the ones you love. You don't mean to do it, but have no control once you start drinking.

Keep going to meetings. That will keep you on track.

Take it one day at a time. Things will get better with your wife as time goes on and she sees your diligence in the program.

Tami

Anonymous
First Time my mind is clear today

First off, thanks Tami. Since waking up couldn't get with it , ya know, "the fog" that feeling of self pity, worthlessness, sad, can't think straight etc....ALL day long plus I wasn't looking forward to the 5.5mile trip on bike to a meeting but knew I was going wether or not I felt like it. Got there still foggy minded and meeting began. A few familiar faces seen from back when I was working the program and had time under my belt by the end of the meeting I felt on the ball,clear, a temporary weight was lifted! I'm sure it'll be back tomorrow (the mood) cause its been less than week sober but it gave me great hope for the rest of today, plus reminded me after having a couplea months working the program after leaving the meeting one day I felt my clear headed ness and uplifted spirits as usual leaving a meeting but ya know what, that feeling never left! What a great feeling of not lugging they 10 ton weight around!!! THAT is what I want back, may take sooner but may take more time, the only thing I can say is does happen!!! And am going to work my ass off to get it back and keep it this time. What a great feeling it is but for now ill take it one day at a time --- Stan

Anonymous
Feeling hopeless

I have been in and out of aa for about 12 yrs. I have had a lot of relapses, longest time sober being about 2 1/2 years with working the steps. I just had a very bad relapse after about 6 months. I know it will get better with time but it is so hard at the moment. I have young children and my husband of course isn't willing to let me see them for a while. Any hopeful responses would be greatly welcomed. I am back in the program with a sponsor but just so so depressed and afraid. Thank you for listening

Anonymous
hope

There is hope! Just do the next right thing.

navysteve
Offline
Joined: 2013-06-22
Feeling Hopeless

Thanks for posting that. Unfortunately, the price for a life beyond our wildest dreams often starts with feeling hopeless.

Surrender is the starting point of the AA way of life. Admitting I am powerless over alcohol is essentially saying that I cannot keep me sober. Surrendering is a shift from all those years of trying to control my drinking to the notion that perhaps someone else had an answer.The first word on this step is "We", this ties in nicely with our first tradition, which speaks of unity. If we have taken the first step ( an inside job- no sponsor can give you surrender) we have come to realize that we cannot keep ourselves sober ( lack of power, that was our dilemma!), we need to find a power, and for many of us that power was first experienced when we encountered people in AA. There was power in those rooms, even if we couldn't identify it we could feel it. And for many of us who came in on the fence, hearing the stories is where we began to make the connection between our drinking and that true nature of our problem.

I would suggest reading page 18 of the Big Book

"That his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured-these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again." (BB page 18)

That describes the ideal sponsor

Anonymous
Feeling hopeless

I can completely relate to the depression and fear. After decades of coming in and out of the program I finally became hopeless, then willing. Hopelessness was my pathway to sobriety. Until I was hopeless, I did not work the program as it is suggested. Willingness enables my Higher Power to work in and through me. There is hope, I am living proof of "it works if you work it!!

Anonymous
grace and truth

In order to transfer our message of recovery to other alcoholics who are suffering, we must
achieve a balance of grace and truth. To tell a prospect he or she is going to die if they
don't stop drinking may be the truth. But it may be too much truth if we offer no real understandable
solution. We offer the solution in person, as an example of someone who has
recovered, doing so without arrogance or pride. Grace and truth have to be balanced.
On the other hand we cannot just say "whatever happens is God's will. He will take care of
it". We have to participate with grace. We thank the new person for the opportunity to try
to help her/him. That is the way we stay sober ourselves. Without the newcomer A.A.
would wither and die. Spiritual pride and arrogance are nauseating and obvious to alcoholics
who are still drinking. This may be our last and only chance to use attraction not promotion.

navysteve
Offline
Joined: 2013-06-22
truth

When I tell you what you need to do I am not being of maximum service. When I tell you what I did I am. We lay the spiritual tools at their feet for THEIR inspection. We do not cram them down their throat

Anonymous
RE: truth

navvsteve: For about forty years Alcoholics Anonymous was
a fellowship. In AACA page 276, Bernard Smith gives us a
definition of a true fellowship. As a fellowship, Alcoholics
Anonymous offered a solution the suffering alcoholic could
rarely resist. We have morphed from a fellowship to a
Fellowship: a twelve step program. A.A. works best as a
fellowship. The evidence is in the numbers.
In theory, we do not cram anything down anyone's throat.
In reality, I observe that we do just that at
almost every meeting. Very few members know what is
meant by suggestion. It took me 35 years to develop a
true understanding. It takes a lot of self-discipline and
self control to just offer our fellowship as a suggestion. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
re re truth

i feel like ur cramming fellowship down my throat!

Anonymous
I have nothing to give way

I have been sober for 14 years now. I attend AA once a week, sometimes two meetings. I am happy with my new life. My first few years were difficult. I worked at a gas station while I went back to college and received a special education degree and teaching license. I was homeless in there as well. Thanks to the Fellowship today, I have a meaningful career now and I recently got married for the first time. Despite, all of this I feel I have nothing to give away. I don't know the steps by memory and I don't think I could quote one page from the Big Book. I never had a sponsor too. I really love being a member of AA and enjoy the meetings but, I just pass when its my turn because I don't have any wisdom except "Don't drink and go to meetings" The other thing is I feel shame because everyone one around me seems miserable and they are working so hard on their steps and my life is going great today simply because I put the cork back in the bottle and learned to live in the world and not my head. I learned that dreaming is easier than the actual footwork but the rewards are much greater facing life on the street instead of in fantasy. Perhaps that's my two-cents of giveaway. Jamison

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